Disc brakes squeeze brake pads against a rotor to create friction and slow the wheel. Eventually, the pads wear down, causing noise and vibration during braking, and must be replaced. The brake pads in a 2002 Mercury Cougar should be inspected every 15,000 miles and replaced if necessary. Replacement pads can be purchased at most auto-parts stores. Replacing the brake pads should take about 20 minutes per wheel.
Things You'll Need
- Lug wrench
- Jack stands
- Socket wrench
- Socket wet, metric
- Torque wrench
Loosen the front lug nuts and raise the vehicle. Remove the lug nuts and wheel. The lift point is immediately behind the front wheel, flush with the inside edge of the tire. Check your Cougar owner's manual for a diagram. Support the car with jack stands.
Remove the two bolts on the rear of the brake caliper. This frees the caliper from the brake pad mounting bracket. Lift the bracket away from the rotor with a rotating motion.
Slide the brake pads out of the bracket.
Press the caliper piston into its bore with a C-clamp. Protect the piston head with a piece of scrap wood.
Install the replacement pads into the bracket. Start with the end opposite the clip. Move the bracket and pads into place and install the two bolts, torquing to 21 ft-lbs. Install the wheel and hand-tighten the lug nuts. Lower the vehicle and fully tighten the lug nuts. Repeat on the other side.
Tips & Warnings
- Always change the brake pads on both sides at the same time to prevent uneven wear.
- "MOTOR Auto Repair Manual, Vol. 1"; MOTOR Information Systems; 2003
- Photo Credit brake calipers image by Tom Oliveira from Fotolia.com
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